There were huge statues depicting the "churning of the ocean of milk" from which the "charming lady" named Apsara emerged to bring prosperity according to Buddhist belief.
|Yeah, it's super hot--that's why we look so wilted!|
Bak Sei Cham Krong
I felt like Indiana Jones (or at least his wife)! The trees were really huge, and looking through them, you could catch glimpses of other ruins nearby. It was incredible.
We next explored the Bayon Temple, built to honor King Jayavarman VII who liberated the country and ruled from 1181-1220. There are 54 towers in this temple, decorated with over 200 smiling faces of Avalokitesvara, an image in Brahmanism. Some say they are actually images of the King. The four corner towers represent the four cardinal directions and seasons. The carvings in the walls represent the King and his envoy, Chinese soldiers on their elephants and horses, and other interesting scenes.
Some of the bas-reliefs represent Hindu and Theravada gods, the religion of the later kings who modified the temple to suit their own religious preferences.
Elephants in the royal procession.
Can you believe these have lasted nearly 1000 years?
Locals dressed in native costumes will allow you to take photographs of yourself with them....for a fee.
|Love this shot!!|
Around this temple were elephants carrying tourists, and some wild monkeys who were trying to grab anyone's snacks they could find. It added to the "jungle" feeling of this awe-inspiring place.
It might be fun to ride the elephants, but I didn't want to take the time away from the ruins. Anyway, I rode one once already--been there, done that!
This little fellow nearly broke my heart, but he was just the first of many such waifs in Cambodia.
Tomorrow: More of Angkor Thom--The Elephant Terrace and The Terrace of The Leper King.